Baylor in the News – Dec. 19-25, 2021

December 26, 2021

Media Contact: Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-710-1961
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WACO, Texas (Dec. 26, 2021) – Baylor University researchers and faculty experts were featured in national and local media stories as they shared their thoughts and expertise on how musical “earworms” can affect sleep, the rich history of Baylor’s Armstrong Browning Library and Museum and the recent developments on Baylor University’s new Paul and Alejandra Foster Pavilion in partnership with the City of Waco.

Dec. 19, 2021

The Conversation: Stress less – it might protect you from Covid
Annie Ginty, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience, and a colleague from the University of California-Irvine write about how stress increases the chance of getting sick, a particular concern during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Waco Tribune-Herald: Truett Seminary receives $1million for Future Church Project
The Future Church Project at Baylor’s Truett Seminary has received a $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment. Co-directors Angela Gorrell, Ph.D., assistant professor of practical theology, and Dustin Benac, Th.D., visiting assistant professor of practical theology, explain the modern-day challenges facing the church. New Baylor arena in works
This article details the expected approval of a new Baylor basketball arena, which will act as a bridge between downtown Waco and Baylor’s campus.

Dec. 20, 2021

Waco Tribune-Herald: Baylor-Waco basketball deal opens door to performing arts center, STEAM center
The Waco City Council and Baylor University are set to vote on a $185 million basketball venue, which will also provide an opportunity to establish a performing arts center and a science and technology center. This partnership was also covered by KWTX-TV and KCEN-TV.

The Hill: Redistricting 101: The inside story of America's first gerrymander
Baylor historian Thomas Kidd, Ph.D., author of the 2011 biography "Patrick Henry: First Among Patriots," is quoted in this article about how gerrymandering - the intentional drawing of political boundaries to favor one party’s candidates - goes back to the nation’s founding days.

Patheos: Religious Decline, and the Secular Religion of Community
Philip Jenkins, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of History and co-director of the Program on Historical Studies of Religion, analyzes the rise of secularism in the United States.

San Antonio Express-News: New book celebrates the most overlooked, everyday buildings in and around San Antonio, from historic King William houses to log cabin at LBJ state park
Architectural historian Kenneth Hafertepe, Ph.D., chair of museum studies at Baylor, is one of the contributors to the book, “A Field Guide to the Vernacular Buildings of the San Antonio Area,” that highlights everyday buildings where people live and work that are often overlooked and undervalued.

Dec. 21, 2021

Waco Tribune-Herald: Waco City Council OKs deal with Baylor on downtown basketball arena, surrounding development
The Waco City Council signed off on a deal with Baylor University intended to set up $700 million in downtown-area riverfront development with Baylor’s $185 million basketball arena as a centerpiece. President Linda Livingstone, Ph.D., along with Vice President and Athletics Director Mack B. Rhodes IV, are quoted on this development. This story was also covered by KCEN-TV and KXXV-TV.

Tech Century: LTU to lead foundation’s effort to boost engineering research with an entrepreneurial mindset
Lawrence Technological University is the lead institution on a three-year, $734,000 grant from the Kern Family Foundation to improve the participation of undergraduate students in engineering research with an entrepreneurial focus. Baylor University, among other universities, will be participating with LTU in the grant.

Dec. 22, 2021

BBC Radio: Health Check: New research on the Omicron variant
AUDIO: Many people listen to music for hours every day, and often near bedtime in the hope of a good night’s sleep. But if you can’t get the tune out of your head, could this be counter-productive? In new research, Michael Scullin, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology and neuroscience, has looked at the rarely studied effect of these so-called earworms.

Fox 44 News: What to expect from the new Baylor arena
Baylor University and the City of Waco announced the partnership for the Paul and Alejandra Foster pavilion, home for Baylor’s championship men’s and women’s basketball teams.

KXXV-TV: Christmas at the Armstrong Browning Library on the Baylor campus
VIDEO: Central Texas is home to several impressive libraries, but the world-class Armstrong Browning Library and Museum on Baylor’s campus stands out. This month it celebrates its 70th anniversary. Jennifer Borderud, executive director and associate librarian, is interviewed about the unique history of the library.

Forbes: Take Back The SPAC: More And More Companies Are Canceling High-Profile Deals To Go Public
Mike Stegemoller, Ph.D., The Harriette L. and Walter G. Lacy Jr. Chair of Banking and Finance at Baylor who has studied SPACs, is quoted in this article about the sustainability of the pandemic-era SPAC boom, during which hundreds of companies have used blank-check vehicles to raise tens of billions of dollars at their IPOs.

Dec. 25, 2021

The Dallas Morning News: How ‘The Chosen’ embraced the best of Hollywood and showed it what people really want
Thomas S. Hibbs, Ph.D., The J. Newton Rayzor Sr. professor of philosophy at Baylor, writes about the short film Christmas with the Chosen: The Messengers, an offshoot of The Chosen, a retelling of the Gospels that focuses on the backstories of many of the major characters. Hibbs writes that the success of the streaming series and the Christmas film demonstrates the ongoing market draw for shows that celebrate, rather than ignore or denigrate, traditional faith.


Baylor's Office of Media and Public Relations (M&PR) supports the University's Illuminate strategic plan as a top Christian research university by focusing on faculty research and expert opinions, innovative teaching, major awards and recognition, and community involvement. Through its media training workshops, the Baylor M&PR team develops faculty experts to effectively communicate the impact of their research or speak as subject-matter experts into national trends and conversations with media outlets, through Hot Topics and on the Baylor Connections podcast. Our faculty expert directory is available on the M&PR website at


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.